Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Count down to Beach Time

In two and a half days, we'll be on the road to St Augustine, Florida to spend a week relaxing on the beach with our girls.

Wait, did I say relaxing...with our girls?

Silly me.

Let me try that again.

In two and a half days, we'll be on the road to St Augustine, Florida to spend a week chasing our two girls on the beach, keeping one entertained and the other from eating her weight in sand.

But, it's Ali's first trip to the ocean and I'm very excited for her. She's excited too although has no idea what's really coming. She thinks a 'beach' is the lake in TN that we visit near my in laws. Where you can see the other side and there are trees and a playground. I have a feeling the ocean is going to be a very intimidating experience for her.  But I'm excited about it anyway, and have bought enough sunblock for a year to keep my two red headed, blue eyed, fair skinned girls from looking like the lobsters I plan on having for dinner.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's tough being three.

I waited for a whole year for the terrible two's to rear it's head and it never really did. I liked two. We had some issues, but really, Ali is such a good girl and is very much a rule follower. She's stubborn as all get out, but once rules are in place and she knows we're all sticking to them, she's perfectly fine.

However, we apparently are in the smack middle of the 'Do It Myself' phase of growing up and it's a tough one. Some things she think she should be able to do, but can't yet. Some things she demands relentlessly to do herself, even when it takes her 1000 years to do what I can do in 10 seconds, and some things completely baffle me.

There is a list of things that frequently result in a major meltdown.

1. Going potty 'byself' but can't reach the faucet. This is a source of constant frustration resulting in tears.

2. Going potty byself and mama forgets, and turns on the light for her in the bathroom. Major overstepping of the 'do it myself' phase. Tears, drama.

3. Putting toothpaste on her toothbrush for her. Tears, drama.

4. Flushing the toilet for her.

5. Moving the laundry from the washer to the drier without her help.

6. Stirring/cutting/making anything in the kitchen without her help.

7. If I turn the pages of the book we are reading.

8. If Elle or, heaven forbid, Big M touches her blanket...oh the horror.

9. If I hold the tissue for her to blow her nose.

10. If I lift Ali into her car seat instead of her climbing up.

11. Feeding the dog without her.

12. Feeding Elle without her.

13. Attempting to help her put on her clothes. (Do you know the struggle of keeping your hands to yourself while watching your three year old flail around with one arm and half a head through the wrong holes of a shirt? It's so hard!!)

Oh the joys of three year old's.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


My 20 minute Yoga refuge. 

It hasn't been everyday, but I got my Yoga Break in twice last week and twice this week. I'm out of the office at a training Wednesday and Thursday, but hopefully I'll get a nice routine in on Friday.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baking with Chef Ali

This child is going to make my weight loss goals a whole lot more challenging than they already are.

Friday, she made pizza.

SHE made pizza. I put it in the oven.

And then on Sunday she made a peach/apple crisp (I sliced the fruit) and chocolate chip cookies (I had to help stir at the end when it was all together and a little tough for her).

She had so much fun and my husband has already almost killed the cookies. One pan got a little over done and I feel badly about it, but I'm fairly sure they'll get eaten anyway.

In the aim of more quality time with Ali, I've been trying to make more dinners that she can help with, and come up with more of these types of desserts for her to do. It's tricky though because with the really simple things, like the crisp, she's not satisfied with the effort involved. She wants to do more, which is why we did the cookies too. The cookies are a good overall effort/outcome. There's lots of measuring and mixing, and she LOVES to use the hand mixer. I have to admit I was impressed with how well she maneuvered it and she even used on hand to turn the bowl while the other held the mixer.

This, however, will make my continued weight loss a little difficult with all the baking going on.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Yoga Break

While life at home is settling back into a routine and pattern, it is still a busy routine and it is still hard for me to fit in any time for exercise.

So, I brought my yoga mat to work and as many days as I can I take a Yoga Break instead of a lunch break, typically around 1:30 or 2:00, which is about when my afternoon fade starts. There's a back room at work which has files and boxes and unused furniture piled around the edges of the room and plenty of space in the middle for me and my mat. Actually there's probably room for three or four of us if I wanted to get a group together, but right now, I really like being in there on my own. I have a pretty standard 20 minute workout that I can do easily, without thinking too hard about it, and without sweating a lot. It's enough to get your muscles warm and stretched and your blood flowing, but not enough to make it an uncomfortable rest of the day at the office.

I feel so much better afterwards. I've started looking forward to that time of day. To get away from my desk and have some calm, quiet stretch time. I'm sitting at my desk now, 30 minutes after my workout still feeling stretched and calm with a post yoga 'warm' that I don't know how to describe. I love that feeling.

My (fabulous $30 yard sale) treadmill is currently non functional, which is a problem. But my husband thinks it can be fixed so we're waiting on parts. Hopefully once that's back up and running (ha ha) I can start adding a 20 minute session back into my morning schedule. That would of course mean I have to pry myself out of bed at 5 in the morning, along with my husband, instead of rolling over and sleeping for 20 more minutes while he goes out to run.

I am officially down to pre-baby weight. I did gain back a few of the pounds I lost through July and August due to stress and depression but several more have stayed off. Most of my size 8 clothes are lose and I can fit into most of my size 6's, however, they're not very comfortable right now. I still have a bit of a roll around my middle from my huge preggo belly but overall things seem to have moved back into place.

I have been ok with my diet, but still enjoying my wine. I have three more pounds I want to lose and I want my sixes to fit comfortably. I just know I have to continue to find these ways to add in exercise through the week.

A new level of random

I just picked up my purse to run out to the UPS store for work and made the mistake of contemplating the random things that are in there.

A pair of yellow and green kids sunglasses
Scotch tape
A pack of cupcake design tissues
A small tupperware container with a miniscule amount of granola in it.
A pink pacifier
Ear buds.

Plus the normal items, wallet, phone, keys, checkbook.

Wait, who carries a check book anymore?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Quality Time

With Elle becoming mobile, we had noticed some jealousy and neediness with Ali. So I spent some time figuring out what I was doing when I wasn't playing with her.

Feeding/Caring for Elle

That's about it. That's pretty much all I do.

So, for the last two weekends I made it a point to incorporate Ali into everything I did.

During the first Saturday morning, Ali, Elle and I went for a walk before the day got hot. Then we had to head home for Elle's morning nap around 9:30. After Elle was asleep, Alice helped me clean the bathrooms. I say 'helped' but really she cleaned them. I just supervised. I handled the soaps and cleaners, but all I did was spray/squirt for her and the step back. She washed, scrubbed, cleaned, swept and dusted all three bathrooms. And then wanted to start again.

Quality time together and a chore checked off the weekend list.

After that I took this month's Real Simple Magazine (which, sadly, I hadn't actually had a chance to read yet) and cut out a bunch of pictures for her to spend the afternoon happily gluing.

Since then I have been religiously cutting up every magazine, ad and catalog that enters the house before it gets tossed. I thought I was going to have a massive pile of cuttings to use for a while but have realized that Sports Illustrated does not offer the same picture gluing opportunities that Real Simple or Elle Decor does.

During the this past Saturday morning, we went to the neighborhood swings.

And then during Elle's morning nap time, Ali and I cooked a few appetizer dishes that I had been wanting to try and I decided our first Saturday afternoon football viewing at home warranted trying out a few things.

So Alice got her 'cooking' chair and her new apron that Aunt Amy got her for her birthday and she cooked with me.

We made crab and mushroom puffs, which didn't stay closed, but the second batch came out better.

We chopped veggies for hummus dipping and then Ali washed the dishes, for about 30 minutes.

Sunday evening she helped me with dinner again, which wasn't as exciting because it was a 'toss it together' casserole, but she did fry the beef and then stir everything together before we poured in the casserole dish together.

She wanted to do more, so I pulled out the cookbook and found a recipe that I had most of the ingredients for and she went to work. I handed her the ingredient and the right measure spoon and she did it all. She measured, poured, stirred, and then spooned the batter into muffin tins. All I did was put the tin in the oven. I didn't get a picture but they came out fairly good! I'm pretty sure more of the batter was smeared across the top of the tin rather than in the cups but that's a level of dexterity we haven't reached yet.

And let's just throw in a photo of Elle and Big M for good measure.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The new road

I am happy to say that I do feel the weight of the depression that has been on me for so many weeks has lifted. More than a little. I am still sad and I expect that will linger for quite a long time, but the melancholy that made each day so heavy doesn't hit me quite as frequently or as hard.

Melancholy is such an odd word. I had never used it before now. But when it hit me, there was no other word for it. Blue, maybe. But that wasn't strong enough. Melancholy. A word so low sounding it almost scrapes the ground.

Driving was the worst. I hated driving anywhere. As a passenger I was fine, but as a driver, especially when I was in the car alone or with just the girls, it was so hard to keep from falling into it.

I think once I understood that there was nothing but time and patience that would pull me out, I was able to manage things better. When I was having a hard day I would let my husband know instead of pushing through and he would put the girls to bed that night. I let myself be sad and didn't try to tell myself that I shouldn't be.

There are many days where I desperately long for our previous world. I wish with all my heart that we would get up the next morning and drive to Mama T's like nothing had ever happened and that Max and Ali would see each other and do the happy dance they always did whenever they were apart for a long time. I wish Mama T could smile without tears behind it. I wish Max's mom could hug her baby and not have to choose sides between two people she loves.

There are also many days now, where I can look at my family and be content. Where my heart doesn't hurt every minute. When I wake up at night I can fall back to sleep without the fears and worries rattling in my head.

I can watch my growing children and know that I do and will always do everything I can for them. Protect them in every way possible.

The only thing any of us can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and making our path the best one that we know how.

And the rest has to be left to God and faith in his plan.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Words that will live in infamy

We had a lot of family in town for Labor Day Weekend to see my grandmother before she left to go back to New Hampshire. (Did I forget to mention my Yankee roots?) My dad was one of seven children (Irish Catholic in case you were wondering) and getting together with family usually involves some craziness. This version included a big birthday bag of fun for Ali from one of my Aunts.

To say Ali was excited doesn't quite cut it.

She reaches into the bag and pulls out a mirror. When asked what she received, Ali booms at the top of her lungs.

"A beautiful picture of me!"

Yep, that's my girl.

In addition to the "beautiful picture" she also received a massive box of costume jewelry. Ali spent the rest of the day walking hunched over, there were so many necklaces and bracelets hanging off of her. Most everyone at the house that day ended up with some sort of decoration.

Ali & my mom.

It was a good day.